The TSA Intimidates and Punishes Whistleblowers

While misusing its authority to withhold information, the TSA intimidates and damages anyone who exposes their deeds.


The National Review has now published a full article about the TSA misuse of secrecy to cover up their incompetence: “Transportation Secrecy Administration.”

Current and former federal air marshals allege that the Transportation Security Administration intentionally hid embarrassing information about supervisors’ misconduct and targeted employees who sought to expose the truth.

The allegations revolve around TSA management’s overuse of an agency-specific designation called Sensitive Security Information (SSI). Though it is not classified, information deemed SSI is supposed to be kept from the public because it would harm transportation security. The marshals claim that the TSA has repeatedly abused the SSI classification, even going so far as to use it on fictitious information, in an effort to keep the public in the dark.

One current federal air marshal, whose name has been withheld for fear of retaliation, asserts that the TSA has repeatedly sought to silence its employees.

“When it comes to the Air Marshal Service and TSA, when they are determined to f*** you, they are going to f***ing do everything in their power to make you out to be the bad guy, and they will twist every single word that they can to reflect their position [rather] than the truth,” says the marshal. “They want you to shut up, get on the plane, and sit down. They don’t want to fix any of the problems that exist.”

This is the kind of sociopath that big government breeds—people who should never in a million years be given authority over any other person.

[See also, “TSA Covered Up Security Lapses by Classifying Them as Secret.”]

Former SSI [Sensitive Security Information] office director Andrew Colsky told the [House Oversight] committee that there was “extreme pressure” from the TSA’s front office to mark information as SSI, keeping it hidden. Colsky said the agency wanted the designation used on information it found embarrassing or potentially damaging to its public image.

You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth! You’re going to pay for TSA—through the nose, and via what would be called in any other context sexual battery, every time you attempt to fly—but you’re never allowed to know just how inept these government workers are, and what a joke so-called airport security is. It doesn’t make you a bit safer, but it sure gives a lot of power-hungry yahoos big fat paychecks, benefits packages, and pensions.

Morale in the TSA is among the lowest of all agencies of the federal government — 305th out of 314 ranked in a 2014 report from the Partnership for Public Service — and DHS’s negative culture has led its employees to leave nearly twice as fast as employees in the rest of the federal government, according to the Washington Post.

You know what that means? The only ones who stay are those who can’t get a job anywhere else, or for whom the thrill of humiliating and groping people is worth more than getting a better job. TSA needs to be disbanded. DHS needs to be shaved to the bone, if not shut down entirely.